Legal retail site that works?
A recent acquisition of the national UK law firm Russell Jones & Walker by Australia’s Slater & Gordon for £53.8 million is significant on a number of levels (more on the acquisition in this excellent blog post by Sean Larkan and Chris Bull). What I found especially interesting is Russel Jones’ web retail model – one that supports their thriving personal injury (PI) practice. It should be noted that this practice was one of the main reasons they were acquired.
Branded as http://www.claimsdirect.co.uk, I found this web site to be a full-scale B2C (Business to Consumer) retail front-end to the firm’s PI services. It is an e-commerce site through and through, including a “Chat with our specialists now” site usage timed pop-up. The site is very well designed and right-up there along with some of the top-notch consumer oriented sites of its kind. It creates a logical path for “purchase” by (1) identifying its visitor as a potential buyer, (2) providing knowledge and information about the problem (personal injury), (3) showing the possible return (complete with a compensation calculator); and (4) ends with a call to action (chat with a specialist, contact us etc.).
So if you thought mainstream law firms have yet to realize the potential in accessing the retail market via web sites and related technologies, here’s a perfect example proving otherwise. This coupled with the recent changes in UK law as it relates to the legal industry (the Alternative Business Structure) may just be the shape of things to come.